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Custodial Sentences

(28 Posts)
Fondasharing Sun 18-Nov-12 14:25:44

I have recently left a message on the forum concerning "Five years ..too much..." which in summary, is about the recent case where a train worker has been imprisoned for five years, for sending a train on its way, when a young girl was leaning on the train at the time, and tragically fell to her death as a consequence of the train departing.

There have, as usual, been some intelligent debate as to the sentence - should the train official have been given a custodial sentence or not?. This has raised many questions in my mind, based on a recent experience, as to whether a custodial sentence is the right way to go for some people deemed guilty of due diligence and care.

We have a friend who was recently sent to prison for 2.5 years for an offence which took place 30 years ago. I cannot give the details, for obvious reasons, but there is much doubt as to whether a custodial sentence was the correct punishment. He has lost his career, his family are in daily torment, and he is imprisoned with offenders who have commited far more dangerous crimes than he. We write to him every week and will visit him soon but what good will this sentence do? The person who reported him for the supposed offence (30 years on ) has her revenge.......and he will be punished for every more, along with his family.....

There must be a better way to help people who have offended to repay the person they "offended".

When my Auntie who lived in Brixton all her life, was mugged and robbed in her own home, she was asked by the local authority, to take part in an experiment (this was 15 years or so ago.) She was asked if she would meet the offenders and then allow them to help her recuperate and to repair the damage they had done instead of being given a custodial sentence. She agreed to the "experiment" (which, of course, was under strict supervision) and the boys (only 16 or 17 years old at the time) had to visit her in hospital, spend time every week doing jobs for her and help to repay the damage they had caused her. It worked.......My Auntie died some 5 years later and the boys were at her funeral, to pay respects and to tell anyone who would listen that the forgiveness had changed their lives.....and they had never re-offended.

Surely this must be the way to go for some offences.......what do you all think?

We cannot use prison to punish all service often does not not seem appropriate... it has to be something that helps the offended to forgive and for the offenders to be forgiven and sent on a different path.

glammanana Sun 18-Nov-12 14:46:38

Fondasharing is this experiment carry on and was it made an option ? or was it one of the idea's at the time to lessen the intake into prisons,it does sound as though it worked in your relative's case and good on the boys for again re-offending and how brave was your Aunt to help with this process after such a frightening experience I don't know if I could have done this.
I personally know the man who has been sentenced for the accident on the Station and can say hand on heart that he is a gentleman a good family man and provider for his family one of his children goes to school with my DGS4,there is as I have said in my previous post a lot of information about that night not published and people are quick to judge what they read in the Media (through no fault of their own)
I don't know how the family of the girl concerned can cope with their loss as it is tragic and something that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.I feel for both sides in this incident and just hope that they find peace.

Nanadog Sun 18-Nov-12 14:47:45

I'm not going to comment in what your friend has done that merited a prison sentence fonda, but I do think that the case you cited was an excellent example of the way offenders should be made to face the result of their actions.
I know of two youths who were found guilty of attacking another youth and causing actual bodily injury. Both had been under-age drinking at the time. They were made to help out in their local A & E on a Saturday night (menial tasks obviously) but both were changed characters after the six weeks were up.

glammanana Sun 18-Nov-12 14:49:47

nb ^^ start should read "did this" carry on ? gremlins at work again

kittylester Sun 18-Nov-12 14:59:49

I used to sit on Youth Offending Panels and this was being used then and I assume it still is - maybe someone will know. We found it very effective but had great difficulty persuading victims to come and face the young people. I always thought it was a great shame that they didn't take the opportunity to have an input into the 'punishment' or to meet the offenders and learn more about them. Those that did found it gave them a much greater insight into why some young people behave the way they do.

MiceElf Sun 18-Nov-12 15:12:26

It's called Restorative Justice and is a most excellent system. Unfortunately it is expensive to train the people who run it and to keep it going.

However, I can understand the reluctance of a victim to take part in this scheme as many of them feel that they as victims are being made to suffer again. If victims feel strong enough to take part, then I have the greatest of respect for them.

Smoluski Sun 18-Nov-12 15:15:29

Speaking from the "victims" perspective,I found it very cathartic to face E's father and in court have his actions explained to me so that I could let go of my anger,his actions were too severe to not be given a custodial sentence,but making him face me and hear the heartbreak his actions had caused his daughter and our family hopefully will stay on his conscience for the rest of his life,E wants to meet with him as I have said before,although not in danger physically ,her emotional welfare has to be considered,but I believe that she has the right to challenge him,and this will help her go forward in her life....has he changed maybe not,but he does have schizophrenia and mental health problems,but from our perspective,I have gained through this and reached a state of forgiveness,if not forget ness,and we are able to move forward.

Nanadog Sun 18-Nov-12 15:20:08

nellie flowers

Ana Sun 18-Nov-12 15:23:39

That must have taken a lot of courage, nellie. I'm so glad you've been able to reach a kind of forgiveness... flowers

glammanana Sun 18-Nov-12 15:25:56

nellie ((hugs)) for you from me, oh a little tipple winewine or two x

kittylester Sun 18-Nov-12 15:27:54

Respect nellie (((hugs)))

Smoluski Sun 18-Nov-12 15:30:53

Thank you ..glamma have wine on the go while waiting for roast OH cookinggrin

soop Sun 18-Nov-12 15:36:28

Nellie You are a good and special lady. flowers

glammanana Sun 18-Nov-12 15:41:00

I've had to put the roast on hold mr.g. not to well this pm he has problems with tummy and when its bad he is in such pain and can't eat anything really so have decided to just have light lunch for me,shame as the leg of lamb is baaaarrrrrring at me from the fridge but may have to put off until tomorrow as the poorly man has been known to have to be hospitalised when the pain gets bad,they give him drip of morphine to make his insides relax,so will have to wait and see what occurs.

Smoluski Sun 18-Nov-12 15:47:04

Poor mr glamma please wish him well and poor you denied your roast lamb by some coincidence we are having this will send a virtual plate of roast lamb/potatoes/carrot swede mash batter puts Brussels green beans and other mixed veg,lashings of mint sauce ...enjoyxxxxxxflowers for mr glamma to make up for not having roast and a poorly tummyxxx

glammanana Sun 18-Nov-12 15:49:24

Thanks about 6ish will be good for
PS we will get in trouble for venturing off the topic !!

soop Sun 18-Nov-12 16:06:49

It's okay, glamma I'll stand in the naughty corner and do double penance. You stay put and be of comfort to mr glamma...I hope that he recovers before too long.

I can smell the roast from here, mouth is watering!

Smoluski Sun 18-Nov-12 17:10:28

Was lovely even better cos I didn't have to do it [full tummy emoticon] ..
Sorry all for digressing grin

glammanana Sun 18-Nov-12 17:29:37

I can't stand it anymore so I am going to slice off some lamb and pop some thick cut oven chips in the oven and cut off some cauli & broc and have that for tea will only take 20 mins,I'll eat in kitchen so not to feel mean in front of my lovely chap,poor fella still suffering if the same tomorrow the doctor shall be called I don't care what his nibs says I'll call him in.

Ella46 Sun 18-Nov-12 17:39:01

Poor Mr Glamma! Hope he soon recovers.
Now you've all made me hungry and I was only having soup sad

I'll just have to fill up with cake grin

Ella46 Sun 18-Nov-12 17:39:41

Sorry blush Fonda

glammanana Sun 18-Nov-12 18:02:07

Ella this is what happens when we all gather around a table and start chatting the conversation goes all haywire.confused

soop Sun 18-Nov-12 18:08:23

grin Fun-times!

Smoluski Sun 18-Nov-12 18:18:24

What comes round goes around we will get back to op eventually....albeit via the scenic routegrin

Fondasharing Sun 18-Nov-12 18:49:31

No worry Ella46 - it is like having good friends around for coffee....we start on one subject and then end up curing all the world's ills. That is why there should be more women making the important decisions!!

Thank you all for your comments regarding custodial sentences, we have been so distraught regarding our dear friend who is in prison - it is time we changed the system to reflect more forgiveness on both sides when appropriate.....doesn't always take more money.....just takes a different way of thinking.

Goodnight......settling down to watch Homeland later.......